BENGALURU: In a loud and clear warning to the BJP about the tough electoral battles ahead, H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday took oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka in the presence of top leaders of non-BJP parties from across the country. The event on the grand steps of Vidhana Soudha not only sealed the coalition deal between JD(S) and the Congress in Karnataka, but also showed the country a glimpse of what a political front to take on the BJP could look like.
Amid much fanfare, elaborate arrangements, jubilant celebrations by supporters and a galaxy of political bigwigs, Kumaraswamy was sworn in by Governor Vajubhai Vala. Karnataka Congress chief G Parameshwara created history by becoming the first Dalit Deputy Chief Minister of the state. Thousands of people braved heavy rain to witness the oath-taking ceremony that was nothing short of historic with leaders from non-BJP parties putting up a great show of unity and camaraderie.
“This is a first of its kind event where all these leaders have come together,” Kumaraswamy said during his first interaction with media after taking over. “We have successfully tamed the BJP’s ‘Ashwamedha horse’ and this will continue,” he said.
At 4.16pm, Kumaraswamy, clad in white shirt and dhoti, arrived at the stage set up for his coronation accompanied by wife Anitha. He took oath in the name of God and the people of Karnataka as his father former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, brother Revanna and the entire Gowda clan watched and the crowd that had gathered on the road between Vidhana Soudha and the High Court cheered on.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, BSP chief Mayawati, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Ajit Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, JD(U) rebel faction leader Sharad Yadav, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy, CPI leader D Raja and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minsiter Tejaswi Yadav shared stage at the event -- a scene that would go into the history of Indian politics. Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan missed the event but met the leaders later in Vidhana Soudha.
BJP leaders from the state as well as central ministers skipped the event. The BJP led by B S Yeddyurappa staged a statewide protest against what it called “subversion of mandate”.
SNAPSHOTS FROM KARNATAKA STAGE
Swearing-in ceremony turned into opposition show of strength. There were many photo-ops
“The leaders have not come here to support me but to give a message that there will be a big change in 2019,” said Kumaraswamy
G Parameshwara created history by becoming the first Dalit to become Deputy CM of the state
Cong-JD(S) MLAs were brought in from the hotels only to be taken back after the ceremony
Election of Speaker of the Assembly will be held on Friday and Kumaraswamy will seek the trust vote on the same day